Snippet! I am French and I have to say, what a fun word to say for a French man! It’s not only funny to say, but this word does not have any translation in Moliere’s language. Maybe you are wondering if it does in English either. So what is a Snippet? And more importantly, what is a Rich Snippet? Well it may be many things, but in the Search Engine Optimization world, a snippet is the description of your site that you provide to the search engines so they can display it on their search result pages. A snippet is made from the title of the page that is listed by Google and the meta description, supposing you filled in the meta elements of your header. (Note, if you did not, the description chosen by the search engines will be the first 160 characters of your page, and that may or may not be a good thing). The last part of the Snippet will consist of the exact URL of the page on which it occurs.
Recently there has being a lot of development in what Snippets can do and you may have noticed when looking at Google or Bing or Yahoo search results that there is a lot of additional information showing up. Search engines have evolved and now there is a new kind of Snippet, called a Rich Snippet. Rich Snippets provide the person doing the search more information about the search results and when used properly can differentiate your listing and help entice people to click on YOUR listing instead of your competition’s. Remember, getting that all important click is the first step in winning the battle for that customers business. Should you use it? Definitely, but not every page can be enhanced with a rich snippet. The rich snippet is created thanks to the advent of some magic programmer stuff (that’s the technical name) to display useful information in the search engine results. Such data can include reviews, contact information, products information and even social media sharing! What does it take for a page to enable rich snippets? It needs to have such information in order for the search engine to be able to display such information.
Last month, Bing released automatic richer snippets in order to compete with Google. In particular Bing developed a better Facebook integration that will allow the users to share website results they liked in order for their friends to see it when they do a similar search query. This option is enabled whether or not the website have the Facebook like button on their page thanks to Bing’s new universal Facebook Like button available in its tool bar, adding a potentially powerful social media component to search results. Check out this video released on May 16th 2011 for more details. Have you experienced these new functionalities provided by Bing? Please share your thoughts with us. We would love to know does this update to include Facebook integration make you think of switching your default search engine for Bing?